After years of behind-the-scenes development, Google’s Fuchsia OS makes its public debut on the first-generation Nest Hub. The new operating system, which Google has built from scratch, will replace the Linux-based Chrome OS currently found in Google smart screens. You probably won̵
Unlike Android or Chrome OS, which Google has built around the Linux kernel, Fuchsia OS is a unique piece of software built on a new microkernel called Zircon. While we don’t really know Google’s purpose with the software, the company has tested it on laptops, phones, and smart displays, a sign that Fuchsia OS could one day become the main operating system for all Google devices.
Such a move would make the Google ecosystem less fragmented, speed up app and software development, and potentially improve the performance of Google products through better software optimization. But if Fuchsia OS becomes Google’s OS of choice, it will happen very slowly and the transition may be invisible to the average person.
You don’t ship a new operating system every day, but today is that day.
– Petr Hosek (@petrh) May 25, 2021
First reported by 9to5Google, the Fuchsia operating system is already rolling out to the first-gen Nest Hubs in the Preview program and the software experience is identical to Chrome OS. Nothing is out of place and no features are missing. Ironically, the Nest Hub’s biggest update will also be the quietest.
Switching to a new operating system without doing a full UI redesign may seem odd, but Google isn’t trying to throw its work out. Fuchsia OS is natively compatible with Android apps and works with Flutter, the UI toolkit behind software in Nest Hub and other Google products. If the rumors are true and Fuchsia makes its way to phones, Chromebooks and other products, the update will go unnoticed by most people, although such a rollout is unlikely to happen any time soon.
Once the Fuchsia OS update completes the preview program, it will slowly make its way to the average first-gen Nest Hub devices. Google has not announced any plans to bring the operating system to newer Nest Hubs or any other product. It seems the company is trying to be cautious as Fuchsia makes its real-world debut.